Abuse watchdogs say bishops’ ‘failings’ hurt their credibility

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Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is facing fierce criticism for his handling of a priest who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a court-ordered lifetime ban on ministry to children. Religion News Service photo by Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is facing fierce criticism for his handling of a priest who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a court-ordered lifetime ban on ministry to children. Religion News Service photo by Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

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(RNS) Even as an annual review this week gave Catholic bishops high marks on sex abuse prevention policies, officials with the church's oversight agencies expressed serious concerns about “recent high-profile failings” in several dioceses.

  • Judy Jones

    We need to remember that it is the church system and the church officials who are the one’s who enable, empower, and cover up sex crimes against innocent children. And yes for centuries they have had power over law enforcement and the news media. But because courageous victims and whistle-blowers are speaking up, the secrets and crimes are being exposed.
    Until high ranking church officials are charged for these crimes, the child predators still have a safe haven to abuse more children.
    The sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy is still going on today. Cardinals and bishops are still covering up sex crimes against kids, they are still not removing accused predator clergy, and they still are not reporting to law enforcement. Their so called “zero tolerance” policy is not being followed by the bishops who created it. They don’t have to, because there is no punishment to force the bishops to change their ways of protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting innocent kids.

    Child sex abuse thrives in secrecy and secret systems that allow it to continue to this day, Children are safest when child predators and those who enable and conceal their crimes are held accountable.

    Judy Jones, “SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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  • Report on implementation of Catholic child protection charter, SNAP responds

    For immediate release Thursday May 9

    Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790,SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

    There are helpful numbers and misleading numbers. These are misleading numbers.

    The sad, simple truth is that it has always taken child sex abuse victims decades to speak up, and that is not likely to change. (When was the last time you heard about a six year old walking to the DA’s office to report that her teacher is molesting her?) Catholic officials know this. Yet they disingenuously put out this self survey – of the very bishops who have concealed and enabled hundreds of thousands of heinous child sex crimse by thousands of priests – knowing it will be good public relations for them, but will recklessly lead to increased complacency by the very people who should be vigilant.

    This is little more than a self congratulatory public relations effort.

    And we’re troubled by this revelation on page 14 from the report of the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People:

    “The most common scope limitation encountered in the Charter audit process was the unwillingness of most dioceses and eparchies to allow us to conduct parish audits during their onsite audits.”

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

    Contact – David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259,peterisely@yahoo.com), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com)


  • gilhcan

    No doubt about it. The bishops are only being bold in all their talk about the sex lives of others when they aren’t even able to abide by their own presumed celibacy which includes chastity. They cover up non-stop to this day for the sinful, criminal behavior of their priests and themselves, and they play every dirty trick in the accountants’ and attorneys’ books to avoid paying court-ordered awards to those who were abused. The bishops are not worthy of anyone paying any attention to them. They distort science, sociology, and economics with their twisted theology. When is logic and honor going to prevail with them? Never. The church of Jesus must be radically reformed, starting with closing down the Vatican. It is impossible to manage a universal organization without imperial edict, and that is absolutely out of step with Jesus of the gospels.

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  • Earold Gunter

    Perhaps the powers of law should start prosecuting the Catholic Church with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) like they do the mafia, at least in the US. The organized cover-up of the atrocities committed by their hierarchy for their priests is shameful, and should be considered organized crime, and prosecuted all the way to the Pope, or should I say “Capo dei capi”.

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